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Oahu man needs bone marrow transplant, but his perfect match is his sister — in American Samoa

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Source: Hawaii News Now

Honolulu, HAWAII — An international effort is underway to save a Honolulu man's life.

Fala Letini is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.

And doctors say his sister, Vela Mauga, is a perfect match. The problem: She lives in American Samoa and the country’s airports are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For nearly two weeks, Dr. Gary Okamoto, the chief medical officer at AlohaCare, has been working to figure out a way to reunite Mauga with her brother.

Doctors diagnosed the 22-year-old Letini with leukemia.

“The situation is dire because without the transplantation, his risk of having a serious medical complication rises rapidly,” Okamoto said.

Plans to organize flights through private cargo companies, the Air National Guard and Coast Guard all fell through. But with the help of the Lt. Governor’s Office and the American Samoan government, Mauga was able to snag a seat on a FEMA transport flight Friday afternoon.The American Samoan government office in Hawaii also assisted in the effort.

Read more at Hawaii News Now